New Vampire Diaries and 100th Episode of Supernatural Tonight

THE VAMPIRE DIARIES – “Under Control”

DAVID ANDERS (“24”) GUEST STARS AS ELENA’S UNCLE JOHN GILBERT — While Stefan (Paul Wesley) struggles to control his new situation, Elena (Nina Dobrev) and Jeremy (Steven R. McQueen) are surprised by a visit from their uncle, John Gilbert (guest star Anders). Alaric (Matt Davis) has an awkward talk with Elena about Isobel. At a Founder’s Day event, Stefan displays a rare party attitude and Damon’s (Ian Somerhalder) attempt to find out why Uncle John has returned to town takes an ugly turn. An incident at the party causes trouble between Matt (Zach Roerig) and Tyler (Michael Trevino), and the relationship between Matt and his mother, Kelly (guest star Melinda Clarke), reaches a new low. Meanwhile, Elena’s effort to comfort Jeremy falls short and he decides to take matters into his own hands. Sara Canning also stars. David von Ancken directed the episode written by Barbie Kligman & Andrew Chambliss.

The Vampire Diaries Trailer – “Under Control”:

100th Episode of SUPERNATURAL – “Point of No Return”

SUPERNATURAL’S 100TH EPISODE STUNS WITH AN OLD FRIEND AND A SACRIFICE — Dean (Jensen Ackles) begins to think the only way to stop Lucifer is to say yes to Michael, but the angels decide they don’t need him anymore. Dean, Sam (Jared Padalecki) and Castiel (Misha Collins) are horrified at the angels’ new game plan and take on Zachariah (guest star Kurt Fuller) to prevent an all out war on Earth. Meanwhile, a familiar face returns. Phil Sgrricia directed the episode written by Jeremy Carver.

Supernatural Trailer – 100th Episode:

Supernatural Webclip – “Point of No Return”

Exclusive Interview: Margaret Wander Bonanno

Unspoken Truth As a follow-up to my review of Unspoken Truth last Friday, I was able to interview author Margaret Wander Bonanno to talk about Star Trek and her latest novel!
Margaret’s official website can be found at: http://margaretwanderbonanno.com.

Can you tell us a bit about Unspoken Truth in your own words?

It’s a little slice of Saavik’s life that begins with the scene in The Voyage Home where we see her standing beside Amanda at the foot of Mount Seleya watching the Bounty carrying her crewmates depart for Earth.

She’s very young, more traumatized than she realizes following the events on Genesis, and uncertain what to do with her life. In trying to run from her demons, she rushes headlong into what she thinks will be a very ordinary scientific expedition. Instead, she ends up as part of a controversial first-contact mission, and embroiled in the hunt for a serial killer who’s simultaneously stalking her.

I’ve also filled in bits of her childhood and adolescence, as suggested in Carolyn Clowes’ The Pandora Principle. Lots of interplay between her and Spock, Sarek, and Amanda. And, lastly, a bit of a love story, and her final decision about where she wants to go with her life.

So, a mini-biography, in a sense. Not as sweeping as Pike’s story in Burning Dreams, but filling in the blanks between Saavik’s last appearance onscreen, and what other authors (notably Sherman and Shwartz in Vulcan’s Heart) have done with her in other novels.

How did the decision to tell a story revolving around Saavik come about?

It was the same process that initiated Burning Dreams…Marco Palmieri, then-senior editor for the Trek line at Pocket, called me and said “How’d you like to write a book about –?”

I knocked out an outline, Marco suggested some additions that would make the story stronger, and we were off and running.

How much freedom were you given with her character development?

Complete freedom once the outline was approved. Marco’s one of those savvy editors who knows when to let a writer run with the material. He will be greatly missed.

What do you enjoy most about writing Star Trek novels?

The fact that the universe already exists and I don’t need to create it from scratch. There’s no need to explain the technology, because it’s already understood. Also, the characters – their appearance, their voices and mannerisms – are so familiar that the dialogue sometimes almost writes itself. And because Star Trek has always been about moral dilemmas, the author can explore them without seeming to preach.

Do you have a favorite Star Trek episode or film?

Just one? If I had to choose, I’d say the triptych of The Wrath of Khan, The Search for Spock, and The Voyage Home. It’s a complete story of epic proportions with all of the sweeping operatic grandeur you could possibly desire, and a very satisfying ending.

Then there’s “City on the Edge of Forever” and “Balance of Terror” and “The Enterprise Incident” and…

What’s next for you? Any new stories on the horizon, Star Trek or other?

I’m tinkering with something non-Trek right now. Can’t quite seem to get it where I want it at the moment, primarily because one of the main characters is a female Marine, and I need to do more research than simply watching reruns of NCIS, LOL.

Not sure where the Trek franchise is going with the novels now, TPTB having “excessed” the two senior editors at Pocket, putting several novels based around the new Trek film on Hold, etc. So it’s quite possible that Unspoken Truth will be my last Trek novel.

But hurry-up-and-wait is what writers do best. And there are always possibilities…

Tell us a bit about yourself and your experience in writing.

Started out as a “mainstream” writer. Sold three novels during the brief gasp of feminist fiction in the late 70s/early 80s, before the Recession of ’82 and the Thor Power Tool decision changed the face of publishing forever. In lieu of giving up altogether, I sat down with my agent and he asked me what else I could do. I ticked off a bunch of things I couldn’t do (horror, mysteries, romance), and then said “Hey, I can write Star Trek!”

My agent winced – at the time Pocket only published six books a year, and the competition was beyond fierce – but indulged me and submitted some of my work. Two years and several false starts later, Pocket finally bought Dwellers in the Crucible.

Who are some of your favorite authors? What books do you love?

Read moreExclusive Interview: Margaret Wander Bonanno

Book Review: Project U.L.F. Reacquisition

Project U.L.F. Reacquisition

Project U.L.F. Reacquisition, by Stuart Clark

Wyatt Dorren has retired from alien trapping, leaving the Interplanetary Zoological Park (I.Z.P.) to start a family. But when a fanatical group breaks into the zoo, releasing its deadly inhabitants, Wyatt is the only man qualified to coordinate a reconnaissance and rescue effort. While Wyatt and IZP employee and protégé Chris Gault track down the escaped alien creatures, police officers Ed Lieberwits and Ed Wood track down the people responsible for the mayhem. But the detectives discover a shocking mystery behind the break-in, one that began years ago.

I can’t say enough about how much I enjoyed this one. Clark’s characters are sympathetic and engaging. And the aliens are scary and unpredictable and loose in Chicago. While this novel is a sequel of sorts, it’s also a solid standalone. And as before, this latest installment is an action-packed, nail-biting, thrill ride. The book reads like movie, the action jumping from scene to scene between the various characters. And the non-stop suspense builds throughout the novel, to its exciting conclusion. It’s a fantastic, engrossing story that any scifi fan will enjoy. Don’t miss this or Clark’s debut novel Project U.L.F.

Book Giveaway: Jane Slayre

On behalf of Gallery Books, I have a copy of Jane Slayre by Sherri Browning Erwin and Charlotte Brontë for five (5) lucky winners!

Contest is open to US Residents only (no PO Boxes, please). To enter, just fill out the form below. Contest ends April 16. I’ll draw names each day of the week, and notify winners via email.

Good luck!

Read moreBook Giveaway: Jane Slayre

Book Review: Star Trek: Unspoken Truth

Star Trek: Unspoken Truth

Star Trek: Unspoken Truth, by Margaret Wander Bonanno

Introduced in early Star Trek films, Saavik is a half-Vulcan, half-Romulan protégé of Spock. This is her story. As a child, Saavik was rescued from Hellguard along with other children that the Romlulans had abandoned after a failed biological engineering experiment. Spock brought Saavik home to Vulcan to be raised by his parents, Sarek and Amanda. Saavik is now an officer in Starfleet with a bright future. But her world is turned upside down when childhood friend Tolek, tells her that the now-grown survivors of Hellguard are being hunted down and killed. Then, a Romulan confronts Saavik with news that he is her biological father and that she must help him destroy her adoptive father Sarek’s career as an ambassador. If Saavik doesn’t agree, not only will she be killed, but Sarek as well.

This ambitious novel tracks the life of a minor character (though certainly an interesting one) in the Star Trek universe. Despite Saavik having been portrayed by two different actresses (Kirstie Alley, Star Trek II and Robin Curtis Star Trek III & IV), we are only given a glimpse of her relationship with Spock, and nothing about her origins. Author Margaret Wander Bonanno wrote of one of my favorite Trek novels – Strangers from the Sky. And here, she fills in the blanks about where Saavik came from and her connection to Spock and his family. Bonanno fleshes out this complex character and gives her incredible depth and motivation.

It is not a requirement, but definitely helpful to have a good knowledge of Star Trek films II-IV as the novel references all of her scenes and the circumstances with Spock’s death and regeneration. But then, what original series fan doesn’t know the movies well?

Drama, mystery, intrigue, and first contact – this story will appeal to any true Star Trek fan. The plot is as complex as Saavik herself. It’s thought-provoking and moving, yet full of wonder and excitement – this is why I love science fiction and Star Trek novels in particular. I will now be tracking down Bonanno’s novels that I haven’t yet read. First the classic Strangers from the Sky, now this inspiring Unspoken Truth – I am dually impressed.

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